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NJ festival lets you eat, drink, floss with bacon

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Get ready for bacon like you've never eaten, drank or worn it before.

Bacon milkshakes. Chocolate-covered bacon shaped like roses. Bacon-flavored toothpaste, dental floss and lip balm.

Bacon bourbon, margaritas, beer and vodka. Bacon ice cream sundaes. A BLT sandwich with a full pound of bacon.

They're all on the menu this week as one Atlantic City casino stretches the bounds of good taste and cardiovascular health with Bacon Week. The festival at the Tropicana Casino and Resort gives new meaning to the term "pigging out."

The idea of a bacon festival is not as far-fetched as it might sound. Americans eat about 1.5 billion pounds of bacon a year, according to the National Pork Board. And the website bacontoday.com counted nearly 30 bacon festivals around the country from late April through December 2013, many of whose tickets sold out in minutes.

"Bacon is like heaven," said Nadina Fornia, of Egg Harbor Township. "If you're going to die, die with bacon on your lips and a BLT in each hand."

She was drawn to the casino Monday by the promise of bacon in far-out forms, including milkshakes and beer (not in the same glass, thankfully.) She also heard about the bacon-infused vodka.

"That is my quest today," she said.

Fornia tried a bacon bloody Mary mixed with a smoky bacon beer. Despite the overwhelming salty taste and the small strip of bacon floating in the glass, it tasted mostly like sharp tomato juice, she said.

Nearby were chocolate covered pretzels with crumbled bacon bits; chocolate-drizzled potato chips with bacon, two kinds of pasta dishes with bacon, bacon cupcakes, and bacon wrapped around a fake green stem to form roses, which were then dipped in chocolate.

"The first taste is chocolatey, then it's all bacon," said Melissa Ehrke, of Egg Harbor Township. "I was a little surprised I liked it, 'cause I was afraid to try it. It's that whole sweet and salty thing."

New Jersey Celebrates 'Bacon Week'

While bacon-flavored grooming items are sold at festivals around the nation, they were encountering some skepticism at the Tropicana this week.

"There are people that are just crazy for bacon," said Denise McGrath, of Neptune City. "But bacon toothpaste or floss? I'm not that crazy."

James Sanders from New York City was in heaven trying as many free samples of bacon-flavored items as he could get his hands on.

"I love me some bacon!" he exclaimed between bites of ... something. "I don't even know what this is, but it's got bacon in it. And it's good!"

Sanders said eating bacon is a multi-layered experience.

"You keep chewing it and chewing it, and the flavor comes out the more you chew on it," he said. "And then you get to the fat and that floods into your mouth. I just love it."

Carrie Jorgenson and her husband, Mike, were downing the bacon bloody Mary beer concoctions, while channeling celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse.

"I love pork. All things pork," she said. "That's what Emeril used to say, that pork fat rules, and it does."

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west8th February 11 2014 at 7:08 PM


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Kathy February 11 2014 at 1:46 PM

I have read a few posts and I don't get people.
This was to be a silly fun story.
Why ruin it. Get a life.

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nkowalak February 11 2014 at 12:21 PM

Darn that sandwich looked good, but its a heart attack waiting to happen!

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cilla.good February 11 2014 at 12:18 PM

Pigs have the most horrible lives of any livestock that humans eat. They live their lives in crowded pens and made to give birth when they can't even stand. Their piglets are removed from them and they are impregnated again. In very few circumstances and only on very small farms, is this any different. I will never eat meat from a pig and only for this reason. It is cruel. Also the feeding of all animals and giving them growth and infection drugs is going into the public's bodies. The whole process needs to change. Do you know where your food comes from and how it is treated?

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1 reply to cilla.good's comment
here February 11 2014 at 3:27 PM

what we do?

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mcnic95 February 11 2014 at 11:47 AM

Uh ..... don't you think your all taking this a bit too far ??????????????????????

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jtdancernh February 11 2014 at 11:32 AM

So, ummm...just out of curiosity, where are all the dumb@$$ Christians and why aren't they railing against all those pork-eating abominations against God?

After all, the Bible tells us it's an abomination to eat or even touch the skin of a swine (which puts eating bacon and playing football in the same boat with homosexuality in the eyes of God), does it not? So where's all that "Christian outrage?

Guess they're all too busy bashing the gays to bother with anyone else's "sins"...

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2 replies to jtdancernh's comment
Hello Joe February 11 2014 at 11:41 AM

You lack alot in knowledge of Christians, God cleansed what once was considered unclean in the new testament, he opened up all types of food for consumption. Your bitterness is as nasty as bashing gays and your attack is really stupid considering that your wrong in what you say.

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1 reply to Hello Joe's comment
Grandmalovie February 11 2014 at 3:55 PM

High 5 Joe!!!

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Grandmalovie February 11 2014 at 3:53 PM

I'm a Christian and I don't JUDGE anyone it's not my place only GOD's. Oh and by the way I like BACON!! It's not your place to JUDGE anyone. Oh one more thing I aka Christian don't JUDGE gays you did!!

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JIM February 11 2014 at 11:22 AM

I love my bacon and eggs and my b.l.t.s, and even bacon cheezeburgers but you all atre going too far.

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charliemoney3 February 11 2014 at 11:09 AM

Come'On, you SOB Propagandist(s)...Not all Americans are Pig-Eating -Porkers !

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sulandherb February 11 2014 at 11:03 AM

I love bacon, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing..........

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charliemoney3 February 11 2014 at 10:50 AM

Yea, Wisconsin is known for Cheese, Texas for Beef and New Jersey for Pork !

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